Menu ☰
Liverpool Pals header
Search Pals

Search
Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916


CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916


Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916


Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916


Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 27315 Daniel Smyth


  • Age: 31
  • From: Liverpool
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 19th Btn
  • K.I.A Tuesday 11th July 1916
  • Commemorated at: Thiepval Memorial
    Panel Ref: P&F1D8B &8 C.

27315 Private Daniel Smyth, 19th Battalion KLR.

Daniel Smyth was born  on 8th July 1885 in Liverpool, the second son of James Smyth and Catherine (nee Peat) known as Kate. His parents, both natives of Ireland, married in Liverpool in 1880. Daniel was the middle of three sons, all born in Liverpool; his older brother was James Daniel born in 1881, and younger brother Bernard, born in 1889. He was baptised in Our Lady of Mount Carmel R.C. Church on 21st July 1885. 

At the time of the 1891 census the family is living at 21 Bickerton Street.  His father James, 40, is a labourer, his mother Kate is 33, James is 9, Dan 5, and Bernard is one year old. 

His mother, Catherine Peat Smythe (sic) died on 12th August 1901 aged 42, even though on the 1901 census taken at the end of March that year, his father is listed as a widower, with James and Daniel, listed as boarders at 1 Bickerton Street, living with Bridget Smyth, widow, 64 born in Ireland and her son Joseph, 27.  James, 19, is a general labourer, like his father, 50.  Daniel, 15, is an errand boy in the port.  Also boarding with them is Patrick Brennan, 40. 

In 1911 Daniel Smythe (sic) 25, born in Liverpool, a general labourer, is a boarder with George Law and family at 78 Aspen Grove, Lodge Lane, Liverpool.  As there are no births of a Daniel Smythe in Liverpool in the 1880s, this is most likely the right Daniel.  His older brother James, 30, is boarding at 14 Bickerton Street, employed as a street sweeper for Liverpool Corporation.  Younger brother Bernard, 22, is a Private in the 1st S. Lancs Regiment stationed in Napier Barracks, Lahore Cantonment, Punjab, India.

Daniel enlisted in Liverpool as Private 27315, 19th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment. The amount of the War Gratuity suggests that he enlisted in about March 1915. 

He was billeted in the hutted accommodation purposely built at Lord Derby’s estate at Knowsley Hall. On 30th April 1915 the 20th Battalion alongside the other three Pals battalions left Liverpool via Prescot Station for further training at Belton Park, Grantham. They remained here until September 1915 when they reached Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain. 

After training in the U.K. he arrived in France on 15th December 1915.

Daniel was killed in action at Trones Wood and his official date of death is 11th July 1916. He was 31 years of age. 

The murderous fighting that went on inside Trones Wood rendered it impossible to put specific dates on some of the casualties which is why many of the 17th Battalion losses have been bracketed as killed in action between 10th – 12th July 1916. The conditions are best described in the following passage from Everard Wyrall’s book The History of The King’s Regiment (Liverpool) Volume II. 

The remembrance of Trones Wood in July 1916 to those who passed through it is of a noisome, horrible place, of a tangled mass of trees and undergrowth which had been tossed and flung about in frightful confusion by the shells of both sides. Of the ghastly dead which lay about in all directions, and of DEATH, lurking in every hole and corner with greedy hands ready to snatch the lives of the unwary.  The place was a Death trap, and although the attacks were made with great determination,   the presence of snipers who could not be detected and often fired into the backs of our men made the clearing of the wood impossible.

Daniel has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. 

The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916.

 

On 01st August 1932 the Prince of Wales and the President of France inaugurated the Thiepval Memorial in Picardy. The inscription reads: “Here are recorded the names of officers and men of the British Armies who fell on the Somme battlefields between July 1915 and March 1918 but to whom the fortune of war denied the known and honoured burial given to their comrades in death.”

 

It was several months before Daniel's death was confirmed, and a notice placed on 13th November 1916 in the Liverpool Echo: 

"July 11, killed in action, in his 30th year, Daniel Smyth of Liverpool, and for many years with the Liverpool Corporation.  Sadly missed by all at 20 Maple Grove." 

And on his birthday in 1917:

"In loving birthday remembrance of Daniel Smyth, the dear nephew of Mrs. William M'Nulty and L. Peat, who was killed in action July 11,1916, three days after his 31st birthday.  (Dearest Jesus, accept the sacrifice. On Britain's Roll of Honour you will find our hero's name.)  Deeply mourned by his Aunts and Cousin Joe (in France.)"  

Daniel earned his three medals. 

His Army effects were shared between Bernard, Acting Sergeant, 1st S. Lancs in India and brother James' share went to Mary E. Smyth. His brothers received the War Gratuity of £4-10.  

No pension card has been found, as Daniel had no dependents. 

Sadly, Daniel has not been found on any local memorial. 

We currently have no further information on Daniel Smyth, If you have or know someone who may be able to add to the history of this soldier, please contact us.

 

Killed On This Day.

(108 Years this day)
Tuesday 18th July 1916.
Pte 27346 John Mawdsley
34 years old

(106 Years this day)
Thursday 18th July 1918.
Cpl 106108 William Alexander Unsworth
38 years old